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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2015
Michael Hughes Sentenced to Two Years Less a Day Conditional Sentence After Guilty Plea to Criminal Fraud
TORONTO – Michael Hughes will serve a conditional sentence of two years less a day after pleading guilty to one count of fraud over $5000 contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada before the Honourable Justice Knazan at the Ontario Court of Justice at Old City Hall in Toronto. This sentence comes as a result of an investigation by the OSC’s Joint Serious Offences Team (JSOT).
The conditional sentence includes strict house arrest for 18 months. Hughes will also be prohibited from trading in or acquiring securities and from acting as a director or officer of an issuer for the duration of his conditional sentence. Hughes will serve a further three years of probation following his conditional sentence. During his conditional sentence and probation, Hughes will pay $200 per month in restitution. The court separately issued a restitution order for $104,311.37.
In April 2014, JSOT launched an investigation into the activities of Hughes and his company Rivertree Financial Services Corporation. Hughes admitted that he agreed to manage investments for a client and then issued false monthly statements indicating the client’s holdings were increasing in value when the client was actually losing money. Hughes’ false statements exaggerated the value of the client’s holdings by as much as 900%. The total loss suffered by Hughes’ client was approximately CDN $126,000.
JSOT was established by the OSC as an enforcement partnership between the OSC, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Financial Crime program and the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Branch. The primary objective of JSOT is to protect investors and further enhance confidence in the Canadian capital markets through effective enforcement. This is accomplished through collaborative investigations of serious violations of the law using the provisions of the Securities Act or the Criminal Code.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca
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